-Complete overhaul of small arms, using MoA (minute of angle) values to simulate the real life accuracy of a given weapon as accurately as possible. This goes for every single small arm in the game, from the M1911A1 .45 automatic, to the Maschinengewehr 42.
-Infantry health to be standardized! This is still 'in the works', but will likely be based on the type of soldier and/or his given task; infantry, mechanized, assault, elite units, poorly trained units, etc.
-Infantry criticals overhauled. With more research invested in the effect of small arms on your average infantryman, the criticals infantry receive have been tinkered with to more accurately simulate the effect of hits from a submachine gun cartridge versus a full sized rifle round or several shots from a rifle-caliber machinegun.
-Destroyed vehicles will now spawn crews! A feature that I'd intended to implement far earlier, I'm finally aware of how to code this properly and this will appear as a feature for all vehicles, from halftracks to jeeps to Tiger Royals. Crews sizes will be accurately depicted on a tank to tank basis, as will their proper armament. Proper uniforms based on nationality and unit affiliation will also hopefully be included.
-UI overhauls! In an attempt to 'simplify' much of the UI of selected units, the unit name will be replaced by the group's role or position within a squad or platoon. For example. If I was to release the mod right at this moment, if you called in a unit of Panzergrenadiere from the 90.Panzergrenadier.Division, when selected, the two spawned squads would all be named 90.PzGren.Div/361.PzGren.Reg Panzergrenadiere (replacing the 288.Reg as more information on the proper order of battle of units was made available to me). Under this new system, you would still receive two 'squads', but these would depict the sections of a Panzergrenadier squad equipped to go on the offensive, deployed from a 251 halftrack: "Einz Gruppe (M G fire team)" would be comprised of the squad C.O., two MG gunners, and two MG assistants and would be intended to provide covering fire for "Zwei Gruppe (advance team)", the squad X.O. and three men who would attempt to close with the enemy and assault them with the grenade and the bayonet (spoiler), a task for which Panzergrenadiere were well trained and equipped. Tanks will also be revamped, and when selected, their display name will appear as it would on a unit roster in real life (listing combat units and their strength in tanks, guns, and so on). For example, the Panzer IV from the 90.PzGren.Div would now appear as 90.PzG.Div./190.Pz.Abt. Pz IV lg, the lg denoting a Panzer IV lange or "long", a Panzer IV armed with a long-barreled 7.5cm cannon. When you hover your curser over the tank, its technical name would be displayed in full, in this case, Sd Kfz 161 Pz Kpfw IV Ausf. G. Tanks will hopefully be receiving new UI icons with their division insignia incorporated into them.
-Tank combat overhauled! Adopting a system more similar to Men of War, tanks will now be destroyed, on average, by two penetration shots from an enemy vehicle. Criticals have been changed such as that, the first penetrating shot is likely to destroy a vehicles tracks/wheels, transmission, cannon, or optics, or killing a crew member or combination of crew members, or knocking out a vital system AND killing crew members. The second shot is likely to cause engine destruction or a catastrophic detonation of the vehicle's ammunition--far more powerful than your average 150mm artillery shell, which will be depicted. Vehicles may now also be abandoned, however, they'll just become part of the surrounding scenery as no sane infantryman or tank crew would attempt to recrew a vehicle so close to the front lines. As well as changes to tank criticals, their abilities are receiving some standardization. For most tanks, there will be an identical layout of ammunition type toggles for main and secondary armaments (that are now accurately depicted, see below), gear shifts (a simple toggle between a low gear with very good acceleration, and thus performance over rough terrain, but low speed, and a high gear with the vehicle's top speed on and off road, and in rough terrain, but with poor acceleration more suited to reaching the front than fighting at it), the opening and closing of hatches (that will offer some effect for crew survival when faced with mines, shells, and grenades depending on the hatch being open or shut), and the now universal, but very time consuming, ability to dig into a hull down position. On that note;
-Tank armor and main gun penetration and rate of fire corrected! With ridiculously painstaking attention to detail, I've mapped out the average frontal armor thickness of every vehicle in the game (even jeeps) considering the frontal glacis plate (the front of the hull), turret mantle (where the gun is slung) and turret front, the vehicle's rear armor thickness, and the thickness of the vehicle when put into a hull down position--e.g., the thickness of JUST the turret armor (modifiers specific to each vehicle in the game are included) as well as the corresponding accuracy drop against the hull down tank based on the dimensions of the vehicle--a hull down tank that's 9 feet tall in total, but 3 of those feet are the turret, will be 66% harder to hit when hull down--however, that tank might have terrible turret armor, meaning the vehicle's chance of being penetrated actually increases! Weapons have also been painstakingly researched, from the puny Welrod pistol to the mighty Panzerabwehrkanone (PaK) 43 8.8cm cannon, with corresponding modifiers for every vehicle and structure in the game regardless of faction included. Each weapon has a selection of shell types to toggle through, including HE, APC (Armor-Piercing Capped), APBC (Armor-Piercing Ballistic Capped), HVAP (High Velocity Armor-Piercing), APCR (Armor-Piercing Composite Rigid), and many other ammunition types. Each weapon has its correct shell velocity rendered as well as a correct aesthetic (based on the presence of a tracer for the round, or lack of one), and the explosive radius of each HE shell has been rendered as closely to reality as possible in 1/5th scale (equal to that of the Company of Heroes 'world', if you would). Tank cannons will fire at a slightly reduced rate of fire (about 1-2 seconds longer per reload than the maximum rate of fire in reality) to simulate the safe sustainable rate of fire (a cannon fired too rapidly in a real tank is likely to overheat and explode, killing the crew and destroying the tank), with an available ability for the vehicle that allows it to enjoy its maximum rate of fire for a time.
-Small arms are also accurately simulated in their penetration, allowing an accurate rendering of light vehicles when faced with enemy infantry.
-Infantry will also enjoy some changes in ammunition type selection, including Ball (standard) ammunition, AP ammunition, and AP-I (Armor-Piercing Incendiary) depending of weapon type and round type--each has an accurate depiction of the round's name and function.
-Historical information corrected! Due to the spotty nature of WWII documentation, some of the historical information previously included in the mod has been proven false and has warranted extensive revisions to the mod, including unit name and affiliation, proper equipment, deployment, and so on. These changes also see an increase in the number of included units, including (to name a few)
LXXXVI. Panzerkorps (the Wehrmacht faction)
XIV. Panzerkorps (the Panzer Elite faction)
26ª Monte Division 'Assietta' (Italian; included for content, not actually a part of XIV. PzKorps at any time)
184ª Paracadutisti Division (Italian; included for content, not actually a part of XIV. PzKorps at any time)
5th Army (Allied)
VI Corps (The American faction)
34th Infantry Division
3rd Infantry Division
36th Infantry Division (attached, in the mod, from II Corps)
10th Mountain Division (attached, in the mod, from II Corps)
1st Ranger Battalion (attached, in the mod, from II Corps)
504th Parachute Infantry Regiment (attached)
Office of Strategic Services (OSS; attached)
X Corps (The British faction)
7 Armoured Division
46 Infantry Division
56 Infantry Division
41 Royal Marine Commando
(elements of the) 82nd Airborne Division (U.S.)
King's Dragoon Guards (armored element)
(elements of the) Special Air Service (SAS)
(elements of the) Special Operations Executive (SOE)
10th Mountain Division (U.S.; attached, in the mod, from II Corps)
Partisan and irregular forces
As you can see, quite a few. Not all will be included in a full capacity, but hopefully this will change down the road. These changes also come with the correct allocation of infantry, weapons, and vehicles. Sadly, this means that our resident turreted Panzers will be replaced with the assault guns, panzerjagers, and self propelled artillery vehicles more commonly employed by Axis units in Italy. The Allies will also face shortages of armor, meaning that any armored vehicle will be an awesome presence on the battlefield--especially when armor is deployed is full platoons of three to six vehicles (depending on type, faction, and unit)!
-The Reward Units tab will now allow you to choose from a roster of different units for each doctrine (sadly, doctrines themselves will revert to a generalized state, but should remain much the same as seen in earlier releases except for lack of a specific unit name, or the inclusion of multiple unit names). Companies/Doctrines will have some of their upgrades made available at a new building included with each faction; this allows a little more leeway on my part in designing new doctrines.
-Buildings will have their animator changed; HQs will be little more than field pup tents and corresponding buildings like the Barracks of Panzer Kommand will be small radios used to call in your units (this change is in appearance only, it will not change anything related to gameplay).
-Teching will adopt a new advancement system, the details of which I need to finish working out. It should, however, somewhat resemble the system used in Normandy 44 mod wherein each building is affiliated with a specific unit. Access to buildings as well as the ability to construct them will be tied to specific units. Some specific changes are that engineering units will be mid game additions that are equally adept at front line combat as their infantry brethren, with the addition of powerful explosives and other assault gear!
-Infantry deployment methods and weapon allocation has also been tweaked. Units that would arrive on the battlefield mounted in trucks or halftracks (including some U.S. infantry and engineering units, anti-tank gun units, armored infantry, and other units from other factions) now do so, rendering the spawning of halftracks themselves irrelevant--if you spawn in some Panzergrenadiere, you get them in a shiny new 251 halftrack rather than having to build one yourself! Duplicates of these abilities will be included, however, that display the vehicle used to deploy the infantry, allowing the retention of facts, stats, and information regarding the vehicle(s) in question. As for weapons, infantry that had a given weapon now have it, those that lacked that weapon, don't. Pioniere, for example, would never be issued a Flammenwerfer under any circumstance--however, Sturmpioniere may be requisitioned in order to bring infantry-burning goodness into play if you so desire (you sick, sick pyromaniac you). Rifle grenades are now tied to specific squad sections (that would realisticly employ them) and replace the throw grenade ability that they formerly had--this will allow them to deploy their grenade (or grenade-like) explosives at a greater distance in support of their 'assault' section (which still possesses their grenades, among other assault abilities).
-And, purposefully left at the tail end of this update, is an announcement of Operation Avenger: Assault on Cassino mod, the spiritual successor to Operation Avalanche: Fall of Italy mod that will be created in Company of Heroes 2! This is still a long way off, and will be very basic in its opening release stages as many, many, MANY placeholder models will be used (Company of Heroes 1 models are difficult to convert to be useable in Company of Heroes 2). Operation Avenger was the codename given to the second Allied assault launched against the 1st and 7th 'Para' Regiments (Fallshirmjager) firmly entrenched around the low cliff walls surrounding Monte Cassino, a 15th century abbey that was the linchpin in Albert Kesselring's Gustav Line. The operation was destined to fail and result in a horrific 80% casualty rate among the attacking Allied forces who would be delayed in their third, final, and ultimately successful assault that would be launched in the next month. Avenger will contain the same content as Avalanche, and is different only in name (Operation Avalanche II just sounds so bland and boring, does it not?). Both mods will be continually updated together, hopefully allowing players of both games to enjoy the mods (and saving me the headache of having to balance two games worth of tech trees, units, and commanders, yikes), though Operation Avenger is likely going to contain some extra features as a part of the more advanced nature of Company of Heroes 2's game engine, including True Sight, new/different commander options, customization linked to unit bulletins, and more. Please stay tuned!
As for those of you complaining that Operation Avalanche doesn't function in CoH (on Steam), that's because the upcoming patch will be the first released FOR that version of Company of Heroes--the mod isn't currently Steam compatible! Please stay tuned, as I've got college finals coming up, winter is setting in here in the eastern United States, and a bevy of other things I'm working through as well as the mods!